State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) voted to support the Ohio House state operating budget and the bill passed in the chamber on Wednesday. The legislation provides billions in funding over the next two fiscal years to grow the economy and workforce, protect Ohio families and most vulnerable, and invest in educating our communities.
“This balanced budget shows a commitment to all Ohioans with these substantial investments,” Patton said. “We are providing tax relief for everyday Ohioans, huge investments in boosting our economy and workforce, more dollars for families regarding early childhood development and education, committing significant dollars in annual funding for public education, and much more for Ohio families to thrive in our great state.”
Some of the highlights of the state budget includes:
· Investing $500 million in the All Ohio Future Fund to benefit all of Ohio with economic development sites.
· $62 million for the Cleveland Municipal Land Bridge.
· $10 million for the Cleveland Food Bank.
· Providing tax relief for everyday Ohioans by flattening and reducing the state income tax from the bottom up to 2.75% for those making up to $92,000 a year.
· Investing over $8 billion in FY24 and more than $8.2 billion in FY25 to fund the Fair School Funding Plan, demonstrating a commitment to providing all students with the resources they need to succeed.
· Investing over $433 billion in FY24 and $465 billion in FY25 for joint vocational school districts (career centers) as part of the Fair School Funding Plan, creating more opportunities for students to gain valuable career skills.
· $1 billon in FY24 and $1.1 billion in FY25 for independent STEM schools and charter schools, providing students with innovative educational options to prepare them for the workforce of the future.
· $500 million in bonus depreciation tax deduction that allows businesses across the state to deduct a large percentage of the purchase price of eligible assets upfront versus over a six year period and continue to grow their companies.
· Allowing all eligible volunteer firefighters, EMTs, first responders, and paramedics to receive a $1000 non-refundable tax credit.
· Providing tax credits for affordable workforce housing in Ohio.
· Indexing homestead exemption for inflation, ensuring that seniors and veterans are protected from increases in property taxes.
· Connecting workers and employers throughout Ohio by creating the Connect4Ohio Fund, which is a $1 billion investment to make it easier for all Ohio workers to commute to economic centers.
· Invests $500 million to site redevelopment programs like brownfield remediation and building demolition that will revitalize unused or underutilized land, creating new opportunities for businesses and job growth.
· Providing $200 million in the H2Ohio program that will protect water resources and reduce phosphorous discharge into lakes and rivers, ensuring a healthy environment.
· Investing $100 million in new training facilities and workforce development capacity at Ohio's colleges, universities, and training providers that will prepare workers for the jobs of the future and ensure that businesses have access to a highly skilled workforce.
· Investing $200 million in high school career-tech facilities, which will provide new opportunities for Ohio's students to gain valuable skills and prepare for successful careers in a variety of fields.
· $160 million investment in water and sewer projects will improve infrastructure and support economic growth, while also ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water for Ohioans.
· Investing $150 million towards the development of vibrant downtown areas to improve quality of life for Ohioans and attracting new businesses and visitors to the state.
· $50 million expansion of broadband throughout the state will support remote work and online learning, while also attracting new businesses and industries to Ohio.
· $50 million in funding for construction and upgrades for township facilities that will improve public services and support local communities, driving economic growth in rural areas.
· Providing $25 million in support to Ohio's county and independent fairs to provide them with a boost to their economic impact through facility upgrades, construction, and create new job opportunities related to tourism.
· Utilizing $25 million to upgrade cultural centers, such as museums and historical sites.
· Investing in facilities hosting sporting events that will attract visitors to Ohio and provide a boost to the hospitality and entertainment industries.
· Invests in publicly funded child care for families earning 160% of the federal poverty level or less will provide critical support to working families in Ohio. This increase from the current limit of 142% means that more families can access affordable and high-quality child care services.
· Over $61 million in additional funding for early childhood education each year that will ensure that more children have access to preschool programs that put them on the path to success in school and beyond.
· $250 million each year to provide vital support for multi-system youth, public children's service agencies, and kinship care programs.
· Establishing the Department of Children and Youth is a significant step in prioritizing early childhood education and health issues in Ohio.
· Funding to support increased wages for many critical workers in the Medicaid-funded healthcare space.
· Investing more than $50 million in upgrades at healthcare facilities around Ohio to increase access to health care in underserved areas, ensuring that all Ohioans have access to the care they need.
· Increasing state support for nursing facilities to provide higher quality care for more Ohioans, ensuring that elderly and disabled citizens receive the care they deserve.
Patton submitted several amendments that were added into the budget package, including:
· Funding to restore the Ohio Fallen Officers Memorial Wall on the OPOTA training grounds.
· Appropriating dollars for the OSHP training at the Mid-Ohio Sports Care Course.
· Increasing funds for Children’s Crisis Care Facilities and increases the cash transfer from the GRF to the Targeted Addiction Program Fund.
· $2 million from H2Ohio to establish a pilot program focused on legacy phosphorus fields.
· Creating a pilot in MHA to evaluate prescription digital therapeutics in treating substance abuse.
· $2.8 million per year for the Open Doors Academy.
· $1.5 million per FY for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress for the Middle Neighborhood Investment Project.
· $2.25 million in each fiscal year for Job and Family Services Program support for College Now to provide payments to family support specialists employed by the Say Yes to Education Cleveland program.
· $750,000 to support the J. Harrington & Marie E. Glidden Foundation to support the high school education of students with multiple disabilities, including Autism and Down Syndrome.
· $1.2 million in funds to be distributed to Birthing Beautiful Communities in Cleveland.
The budget bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.